Voluntary assisted dying is legalized in NSW today after a marathon debate in the upper house that lasted until midnight and resulted in no vote.
MEPs spent more than eight hours on Wednesday debating nearly 100 amendments.
The government requested that the house be kept quiet after midnight, but Robert Borsak, of the Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers Party – also an opponent of the bill – objected.
Most amendments were voted down during the debate, including seeking to give retirement homes and care homes the power to block voluntary assisted dying in their facilities.
One amendment still needs to be discussed before the final vote in the Senate this morning.
The bill then goes back to the House of Representatives for approval before it becomes law.
NSW is the only state that has yet passed legislation to allow voluntary assisted dying.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in October last year by independent MP Alex Greenwich.
The bill was co-sponsored by 28 MPs from across the political spectrum, the highest number of co-sponsors in an Australian Parliament.
The bill’s introduction followed a petition with more than 100,000 signatures supporting such legislation.
Politicians from both major parties got a vote of conscience on the bill.
Independent MP Alex Greenwich has spearheaded the legislation. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
It is not the first time a bill to legalize voluntary assisted dying has been introduced in NSW Parliament.
The latest attempt was in 2017 when a bill tabled by Nationals MP Trevor Khan in the upper house was rejected by one vote.
That meant it never made it to the lower house.
A recent NSW Council on the Aging survey found that 72 percent of people over 50 in NSW favored legalizing voluntary assisted dying.
More than half of the elderly in NSW said they had considered VAD for themselves.
The NSW bill aims to create a safe framework for people in the final stages of terminal illness who experience suffering that cannot be alleviated by palliative care to choose to end their lives with dignity.
To be eligible for the account, the individual must be 18 or older and an Australian citizen.
They must have been diagnosed with advanced disease likely to cause death within six months or a year in the case of a neurodegenerative disease or condition, causing suffering that cannot be alleviated.
The person must be able to decide regarding VAD andthout pressure or coercion.
Two physicians would then assess the individual’s suitability.
All other Australian states and New Zealand have passed voluntary death assistance laws.
Victoria and Western Australia now have laws allowing VAD by people who meet the eligibility criteria.
Tasmania’s laws come into effect in October this year
Voluntary assisted dying under certain conditions will be legal under Queensland law from January 1 next year.
South Australia will also adopt VAD legislation in early 2023.
Posted 30 minutes ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 2:31 PM, Updated 18 minutes ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 2:43 PM